3STEP Sports Acquires MOD Volleyball Club

Suburban Chicago Area Girls and Boys Organization Brings a Unique Approach to Training and Development
December 9, 2022

ANDOVER, Mass. (DEC. 12, 2022) – 3STEP Sports, the nation’s largest and most impactful youth sports club and event operator, has acquired MOD Volleyball Club, adding another top organization to its volleyball vertical.

MOD was founded in 2020 with the merger of two top Chicago-area clubs, Division I Volleyball Club and Wildcat Juniors. Both clubs had been successful – Division I Volleyball had 27 girls’ teams and 20 boys’ teams, while Wildcat Juniors was an elite girls program – and their founders Derek Jensen (Division I) and Karen Sonders (Wildcat Juniors) realized that to reach the goal of taking their clubs to the next level they would be better together.

MOD launched with the aspiration to bring a modern approach to club volleyball and training. The club’s name comes from the acronym of Method, Opportunity and Drive. From setter training to mental conditioning, MOD looks at the whole player and tries to help them get better at every level. MOD now has 80 full-season teams, including elite boys and girls teams, more than 1,000 participants in its camp program, and operates out of four facilities in the Chicago area.

“For a long time Division I and Wildcat Juniors were rivals, but we realized that we were splitting talent, resources and coaches,” said Jensen. “Karen and I like to do things fast and aggressively. Two years later, everything we sought out to do has come to fruition. We think we’re unicorns in the industry, providing good organizational opportunities while pushing athletes to the limit.”

Added Sonders, who spent time at Division I college programs Wisconsin and Northwestern: “When Derek and I originally decided to team up, we always talked about the concept of ‘better together.’ Looking back on the past few years, and how MOD has grown, it’s easy to see the benefits of partnership, collaboration, and shared values. I’m so proud of what this team has built together.”

The 3STEP reach spans 43 states and serves more than 3.2 million athletes across nine sports through industry-leading events, nationally spanning club programs, premier media content and more. 3STEP was founded by David Geaslen, who sought to create better experiences and more opportunities for athletes and their families. The mission of 3STEP is to be the standard of the youth sports experience and create consistency in the industry.

3STEP also partners with the non-profit charity Mission Win, which aims to transform the lives of children through sports participation, leadership training and professional development.

“Karen Sonders and Derek Jensen’s philosophy and approach mirror 3STEP’s,” said Geaslen. “Go fast and seize opportunities while creating better experiences for athletes of all ages. That’s what it’s all about. They have had remarkable success in just two years and we are excited to help them accelerate their growth.”


To learn more about 3STEP Sports, go to www.threestep.com

For more on MOD Volleyball, go to modvolleyball.com.

Contact: B.J. Schecter, 3STEP Sports: bj.schecter@threestep.com Kevin Flight, Elevate Communications: kflight@elevatecom.com or 617-861-3657